On May 18, 2022, at 9:30 AM, Collin Schwantes <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hey Joe,
> Thanks for the reply - I will check out those resources. Not rude at all to
> think they would have had a DMP of some kind - they did and the system that
> was implemented works well for the majority of the data and the primary use
> case but could use more documentation. Requirements shifted several times
> towards the end of the project in ways that created technical debt and left
> some systems under-documented.

That’s actually pretty common.   The PI team builds a system that’s basically designed to ONLY answer the question late that they care about / work with the data how they’re used to do it, with absolutely no consideration at all for how else the data might be used.  (Technically ‘re-used’, which is use in ways other than the study was originally collected for).

On the documentation front, even if you can’t get direct funding for it, someone might be able to get a publication credit by documenting it and submitting it to one of the various ‘data journals’ out there.  I find that some of the most green scientists on the PI team actually do the best at documentation as they don’t assume that everyone already has the tacit knowledge from the field.

Depending on how the discipline handles the use of data, making your data easier to be used by a wider community can also help to increase co-authorship or citation counts.  (As some disciplines will list the data’s original PI as a co-author, while others will cite a ‘data paper’ or the ‘first results’ paper)

I’ve given a few talks about it, back when I was helping evangelize for the Joint Declaration of Data Citation Principles.  I can probably dig up some more resources if you want to try to convince them that this is worth doing on their own time, even without explicit grant funding.

I’ve also heard of institutions making funding available to their researchers to improve their data, but I have no idea how common that is… and I haven’t been as active in wider community stuff for about 5 years now.